Sunday, December 18, 2016

A challenge to us as followers

pastor behind pulpit with arms raised
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Titus 1:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money." Titus 1:7

Those of us who attend church with pastor leaders are well aware of the hazards of such a position. Pastors get criticized for a multitude of things: their leadership style, their sermons, how organized or disorganized they are, the hours they work or don't, not visiting the sick and shut-ins or visiting too much, driving too big and fancy a car or looking too poor… and the list could go on.

Paul's letter to Titus deals with choosing church leaders and lists some of the qualifications they should have. Paul tells Titus to choose bishops (overseers) who are: (quotes in parenthesis are from the Amplified Bible).
  • "blameless" ("of unquestionable integrity")
  • "the husband of one wife" 
  • good fathers whose children are described as "faithful … not accused of dissipation or insubordination" ("well-trained … believers … not  … loose in morals and conduct or unruly or disorderly")
  • "not self-willed" ("arrogant or presumptuous")
  • "not quick-tempered" 
  • "not given to wine"
  • "not violent" ("pugnacious, brawling")
  • "not greedy ("grasping … for filthy lucre [financial gain])"
  • "hospitable" ("loving and a friend to believers, especially to strangers and foreigners")
  • "lovers of what is good" ("of good people and good things")
  • "sober-minded" ("sensible, discreet")
  • "just" ("upright and fair-minded")
  • "holy" ("a devout man and religiously correct")
  • "self-controlled" ("temperate and keeping himself in hand")
  • "holding fast the faithful word he has been taught"
  • "able… to exhort and convict those who contradict" ("able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound {wholesome} doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it [showing the wayward their error]")

Even though this list is over 2000 years old, it is still applicable to church leaders today. However, rather than using it as a yardstick to point out ways our pastors don't measure up, let's use it as a template for prayer that they do and will.

In their positions pastors and other church leaders are targets of not only us who are followers in their congregations but the watching world. Probably nothing makes the devil happier than when a prominent man or woman of God gets tangled in sin.

So with all our hearts, let's fill our months with intercession for our pastors in these many areas rather than criticism.

PRAYER: Dear God, I pray for my pastor and Your under-shepherds all over the world.  May these men and women stay pure and dedicated as they work as stewards in Your church. Amen.

MORE: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Today the church celebrates the Fourth Sunday of Advent. If there is a Christmas story character focus today, I'd guess it would be "Shepherds."

The Fourth Advent Sunday liturgy begins with this collect:

"Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen"


New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Some scripture quotes are taken from the Amplified® Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission." (

Bible Drive-Thru

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...